DMK cadre had dug up the stretch along Koyambedu to install party flags, banners and larger-than-life LED cutouts of Stalin.

No more banners cutouts Stalin tells DMK cadre after outrage over dug-up footpath
news Civic issues Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 19:13

Two days after DMK was called out for digging up the footpath along the Ega Theatre-Koyambedu stretch on the Poonamallee High Road in Chennai, the party’s Working President and Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin has told party cadre to refrain from putting up banners and cutouts.

In a tweet on Tuesday, he wrote, “I reiterate that DMK party cadres must avoid banners, flex, posters, cutouts etc to advertise party-related events. Absolutely no inconvenience must be caused to pedestrians and commuters as a result of public meetings organized by us. When recent reports of instances where disobedience of party's diktat in this regard came to my notice, I issued stern directions to take corrective steps. The party does not condone any damage to public property and I request all cadres to abide by these directives.”

Despite a 2017 Madras High Court ban on hoardings and flex boards featuring living persons, the DMK put up life-size LED cutouts and hoardings of MK Stalin in view of a party meeting at MGR Colony, Koyambedu.

On June 16, Arappor Iyakkam, a TN non-governmental organisation pointed out that flex banners and cutouts had been erected, breaking the granite sidewalk near the Chennai Metro Rail. It had also led to a traffic congestion in the area.

MLA Anbazhagan had responded to this within a few hours: “Sorry for the inconvenience happened, whatever the damages occurred I will have my party cadres to fill it up at the earliest. I will also make sure dis incident will not happen again. Our party has plenty of experiences being in power, don’t underestimate us.”

On the evening on June 17, DMK MLA J Anbazhagan who was reportedly in charge of the meeting tweeted: “Our team has successfully repaired the damages in some areas & making sure no damages has been left without repaired. We regret for inconvenience caused, I also made sure contractor will not repeat it again. Thanks”(sic).

Illegal hoardings and banners have not only caused inconvenience to locals in the past but have also claimed lives. Just between November 2017 and February 2018, three incidents of were reported in Coimbatore, Ooty and Coonoor.

Also read: The human cost of expanding the Salem airport

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